Governor seeks deferment of hearing on Article 35 A

SRINAGAR: Governor NN Vohra is learnt to have requested the Centre to defer the hearing on Article 35A in the Supreme Court until the elected government is in place in the state, where the sensitivities and sensibilities on the provision are quite high.

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, July 28

Governor NN Vohra is learnt to have requested the Centre to defer the hearing on Article 35A in the Supreme Court until the elected government is in place in the state, where the sensitivities and sensibilities on the provision are quite high.

The hearing of Article 35A is scheduled for hearing in the apex court on August 6 and it has already stirred emotions across the political and social groups in the Valley, triggering fears and calls for the united fight to protect the provision that confers special rights and privileges on the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

It has been challenged in the Supreme Court by some of the groups seeking quashing of this provision that they alleged was discriminatory to the Indian citizens living in the rest of the country.

Taking a view of the sensitivities the challenge to the provision has evoked across Kashmir and the likely pitfalls if their premonitions come true, Vohra is learnt to have taken up the matter with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and apprised him of the situation and suggested that it should be deferred till the elected government takes over.

At present, the state is under the Governor rule, which when translated constitutionally, means that it is under the Centre rule. The Governor rule was imposed in the state on June 20, a day after then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti resigned following withdrawal of support to her government by the BJP on June 19.

Widespread concerns have been expressed over the fate of Article 35A. Mehbooba had urged all political groups to unite to protect Article 35A, while Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman, All-Parties Hurriyat Conference, had warned that any tinkering with the provision would force the people of Kashmir to “hit the streets.”

What is Article 35 A

Article 35A, which was added to the Constitution by a Presidential Order in 1954, accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of J&K

It also empowers the state's legislature to frame any law without attracting a challenge on grounds of violating the Right to Equality of people from other states or any other right under the Constitution

The previous government of J&K, in its reply before the SC, had sought the dismissal of matter challenging Article 35A on various grounds and had stated that the “accession” of J&K to India is “limited in scope and not absolute”.

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